Look in the Blog Archive in the box to the right for past ride reports going back to 2006. New material posted as rides or other motorcycle news occurs. Thanks for reading. Comments always welcome, be sure to log in below. Comments will be reviewed. Please note the disclaimer below.

About Me

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Motorcycling has been a life changing experience. I hope sharing the info and pictures on the Blog gives you some idea how impressed I am with the experience, travel and the people I have met. Made new friends especially among Riders here in Orange County. Special recognition to Johney (Wrench)-helps with all the maintenance stuff+rides, plus other great riding friends: Ken Y., Luis V. & Minita, Chuck & Patty, John R., Joe, Carolyn, Gregg, Charlie & Carol, Rick, Stan P., Ed & Susan P., Barry, plus Terry, Bob B., Brian H., Glenn, William & Daveta Jo, Bob (Concho) and others. ************* DISCLAIMER: This is my personal write-up (Blog) of motorcycling news, rides and events that I am involved with in some way and not affiliated with any group, organization or club that might be mentioned herein. There should be no confusion regarding the fact these are my personal comments and not those of any other entity.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.

Amazing scenery, great ride, wonderful time.
Monument Valley, Utah-9/2011 photo by Johney Harper!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Impressions of the '06 Road Star Silverado

Thinking of upgrading to a newer, bigger cruiser style motorcycle? If you have been riding for a while you probably understand the urge to upgrade from your present motorcycle to something newer or bigger or with more power. Seems to happen a lot with a number of riders I have met over the past couple years, including a few that own multiple motorcycles of varying styles and sizes.

The Yamaha Road Star Silverado is a large cruiser with a 1670 cc engine and a longer wheelbase and is heavier than the V-Star 1100 I had previously. It weighs about 730 lbs. and that was a major concern when I bought it, but so far the weight has been a benefit not a burden. On the highway or freeway the extra weight and bigger engine make it easy to get up into the 70+ mph range and hardly notice it. I find that even in top 5th gear, if I need to move out in a hurry there is plenty on tap to get me moving faster. The wind buffeting around the windshield is a real factor at higher speeds and I wish there was some way to block it, especially noticeable over 70 mph. The engine definitely has a higher level of vibration and throb than the 1100 did, which takes some getting used to, but so far has not been really uncomfortable.

Handling on mountain roads based on my trips to Oak Glen, Mt. Wilson and the Barstow trip all were very well managed due to the weight and handling of this Road Star. I thought the 1100 was as good as I needed, but this 2006 Road Star has been very easy to maneuver through the twisting roads so far. Have been using counter-steering much more than I ever did on the 1100 and it is partly due to how responsive the front end is to small moves that indicate how sensitive the steering is.

Remember, this size motorcycle is not for a beginner rider. The weight, and power can become a real problem if you don't know how to handle yourself on two wheels especially in low speed parking lot type situations. Not that I'm an expert, but I have been in a couple situations that reminded me of my earlier days of motorcycling when I did not have the experience I now do. Without the last couple years experience, I would be seriously concerned about riding this large a machine.

Ride Safe and keep on riding! Ride it like you still owe money on it!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Back roads to Barstow and Route 66

Weather reports said Monday was going to be windy, but when I met up with Wayne at Blakes BBQ on Mira Loma near Kraemer it seemed very pleasant but cold. We bundled up and I put on the winter gloves, but no liner inserts and no overpants and away we went, heading for Jimmy's home in Upland where we would meet up with Jimmy and his friend Harold on a Harley Dynaglide. Harold did not seem real well prepared for the cold weather but off we went. On the 210 heading east we turned onto the 15 Fwy going north to meet up with the 15/215 interchange in Devore.

First thing, Harold had to drop back and pull off to the side of the freeway due to his shield and visor coming loose as we tore into some pretty fierce wind on the 15. It took us a bit by surprise as the wind was howling and we really slowed down and tried not to get too close to the big rigs in case one blew over. Harold caught up and off we went but then he had to pull off again, same problem. Jimmy on his BMW sport-tourer headed for the turnoff to Devore and after Harold caught up we headed off the freeway and onto calmer surface roads through Devore to the old Rte. 66 historic road that parallels the 15 for a short stretch. When we reached Highway 138 we pulled over into a McDonald's for a short breather after those serious winds.The road is the yellow line and it was fairly twisty for a few miles. Taken from Google Earth.

Once we got onto Hiway 138 it turns into a fairly twisting road for a few miles. I never made it past the first big turn over a year ago and so I was very relieved to see that I was able to keep up fairly well with Jimmy on this road. We headed up toward Silverwood Lake and eventually came up to the lake through a back road that leads up to the dam.We stopped here and then went back to the highway leading to Hesperia. Here are the ONLY pictures taken on this trip for some reason, the road was more fun and intense than stopping for pictures.
4 Motorcycles and 3 riders, Jimmy Wayne and Harold with the lake behind the dam where it's supposed to be.
That's me back there.

In Hesperia, we were supposed to head east to Central road, but guess what, we missed the turn and actually and literally ran out of road. The road not only turned to wash board dirt but actually just disappeared. I was nervous about this Road Star and everyone elses motorcycle being on a dirt road but we headed back a couple miles found central and headed on up to Rte 18 and on to Lucerne Valley and then north on a long stretch of cold highway where we got up to about 4,100 foot level in the pass and it was cold but very little wind at all.
Yep, we ran out of road right in here somewhere, it looks like there is still road, but we all can verify it disappears.

In Barstow we headed for the train station and just plopped into a Church's Chicken and had lunch and head back to Jimmy's over the old Route 66 to Victorville, then back on the 15 south and home. Total trip about 260 miles, and we all did good, even back through the wind tunnel at the 15/215 interchange in Devore, it was still howling but nobody got blown off the road.